5.24.2014

1914 B18 Blanket
Red Smith


It's been a while since my last post and I really wanted to make my comeback with something a little unusual. While this B18 blanket is not particularly rare, it's not something you see everyday either.

First, I know, this isn't really a baseball card. It's a 5 1/4-inch square felt which would have wrapped a pack of tobacco in 1914. Some say it wrapped a specific brand, but I've read conflicting reports that the brand was not limited to just one.

It's called a blanket since many of these individual pieces were often sewn together into quilts or blankets. I wonder how many kids had bedspreads made from these felts 100 years ago?

The blankets (the individual ones) come in various colors.

Cleveland players have either yellow or purple bases; New York Yankees players have either blue or green infields; St. Louis Browns players have either red or purple paths; Washington players have either brown or green bases; Brooklyn players have either blue or green infields; New York Giants players have either brown or green paths; Pittsburgh players have either red or purple bases; and St. Louis Cardinals players have either purple or yellow paths. 
A third variation has red infields. And a quick look on eBay shows these selling for a huge premium.

My example (pictured) is very poor. You know, poor in a good way. The blue is very faded and the paths and flags should be red. The bases should be brown.

But hey, to me it's well worth its $5 price tag. There's no way you can get an equivalent baseball card at that price. What a bargain.

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